Heating Pads

A nomad strives to live in the present with the best the past and future have to offer. The future here means technology available today. The past means with tried and true ways of living.

In the past, people in cold weather would heat their beds. They might put a hot rock or hot brick on the bed. They might put a container with hot water on the bed. These methods still abound.

Updated versions of the hot water bottle include making the bed itself out of water — a water bed — and heating the water. The nomad prefers to use stainless steel bottles filled with hot water.

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Stainless steel nomadic hot water bottle

Another popular way of heating the bed is with an electric blanket or electric heating pad. The difference between a pad and a blanket is that the pad is designed to be underneath a person, the blanket above. The discussion here is about pads but can be applied to blankets, also.

The nomad recommends Sunbeam electric heating pads. Another brand of electric blanket gave off a smell when heated. The Sunbeam blankets and pads don’t do that. The Sunbeam comes with a controller that has 20 settings, with 20 being max heat.

The controller can turn the pad off automatically after ten hours. This is good for when the nomad might forget to switch it off after arising. This default feature can be disabled, too, which is good for Shabbos in the winter when the nomad may turn the pad on at 4:00 pm Friday before Shabbos and still want it on at 2:00 pm Saturday for a short rest. (The nomad has concluded it is permitted to use such a pad in this manner on Shabbos.)

Electric pads on the market today have a system of heating zones in the pad, with each zone given jolt of heat in a cyclic procession.

The trick is to insulate the pad above and below to keep the heat in. The nomad puts the pad inside a sleeping bag. On top of the bag is a reflective blanket, which in turn is covered by an alpaca/sheeps-wool blend blanket. A setting of “10”, half-way, is sufficient in 40 degrees ambient temperature using that set-up.

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Reflective blanket


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